Women Who Ruled: Sister Kings 3/5

Jadwiga, King of Poland

Sigismund returned to Hungary leading troops from the north. A few months later, Charles began his encroachment from the south. Sigismund reached the capital first and convinced Elizabeth to consent to the marriage. Sigismund was wed to King Mary in October 1385, but was not crowned king nor given any official duties. 
Two months later Charles reached the capital. Afraid for her life, Mary yielded her crown. Charles III, King of Naples, was crowned King of Hungary in a coronation ceremony on New Year’s Eve. The deposed monarch and her mother remained at the castle. 

Queen Elizabeth and loyal bishop Nicholas Garai plotted to kill the imposter. With the promise of a large domain, they convinced the master of cupbearers to aid the assassination. In February of 1386, Elizabeth and Mary invited Charles to their chambers, where the cupbearer attacked him. Charles died of his injuries. 

King Jadwiga, meanwhile, was facing challenges and broken engagements of her own. She was crowned in the King of Poland in the fall of 1384. With her mother’s consent, and despite her engagement to William, Duke of Austria, Jadwiga’s advisors began marriage negotiations with the twenty years older Jogaila, Grand Duke of Lithuania. Jogaila and his people were heathens, but he promised to convert and promote Catholicism as part of the contract. 

William rushed to the capital to demand consummation of his prearranged marriage to Jadwiga but was turned away by the nobles. Jadwiga was married to Jogaila, who took the baptismal name Wladyslaw, in February of 1386. He was 35, she was only 12. The next month Wladyslaw-Jogaila was crowned and for the rest of Jadwiga’s short life, the two reigned as co-rulers, of equal sovereignty. 

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